Anyone who received mRNA vaccine before May 9 in Waterloo Region can book accelerated second dose on Monday

Starting Monday, anyone who received their first COVID-19 dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9 can rebook for an accelerated second dose.

On Thursday, the province identified Waterloo Region as a Delta variant hot spot, meaning it will be targeted for accelerated second dose distribution.

People can apply to get a second dose sooner by filling out a form on the region's website.

Currently, accelerated second doses are open for people over the age of 70, along with health-care workers and people with highest-risk health conditions.

Dept. Chief Shirley Hilton, who is in charge of vaccine rollout in the region, said they're working to increase capacity at clinics as supply allows.

Speaking at the region's COVID-19 briefing on Friday, Hilton encouraged people to get their first dose if they haven't yet and to get their second dose as soon as it is their turn.

"The announcement from the ministry and growing concerns around the Delta variant has shifted our focus on the second dose strategy," Hilton said.

Hilton added the region is working to change its booking software to allow people to book their own second dose rather than filling out the form. She said they're working through some bugs with the software and hope to have it available soon.

Anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca will still need to wait for 12 weeks between their first and second doses, regardless of whether or not they're getting a second dose of AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine.

The region also offered two pop-up vaccine clinics in high-priority neighbourhoods on Friday to encourage people to get their first vaccine dose.

WELLINGTON-DUFFERIN-GUELPH ALSO DELTA HOT SPOT

The Ministry of Ontario also listed Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph as a Delta variant hot spot on Thursday. Officials with WDG Public Health said they expect another 8,000 vaccine doses this week to help with accelerated second shots.

“This additional support from the province will help us continue to protect our community from COVID-19 – especially as we seek to reopen across the region,” said WDG's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Nicola Mercer. “I am urging every resident of the region: do not wait. Book your first or second dose as soon as you can. Have the vaccine conversation with friends, family and co-workers and help ensure all of us are protected.”

People who received an mRNA vaccine on or before May 9 will receive an email or text message inviting them to rebook early next week. Officials said they will need to contact more than 60,000 residents, so they will send the invitations between Monday and Wednesday.